Thursday, May 19, 2005

These Guys Must Not See a Lot of Movies

So, I just wandered across the site for Patriotic Americans Boycotting Anti-American Hollywood. The most recent target is to boycott Star Wars. The sin is Lucas's apparently anti-American views. Regarding Episode 3, Lucas points out that this movie is about how the Republic becomes the Empire. The framework of the story was conceived in 1971. In Lucas's words: "At the time I did that, it was during the Vietnam War and the Nixon era. The issue was: How does a democracy turn itself over to a dictator? Not how does a dictator take over, but how does a democracy and Senate give it away?"

The wonderful spinners at PABAAH turn this into Lucas saying he wrote the framework in 1971, "when reacting to then-U.S. president Richard Nixon and the events of the Vietnam War." First, notice that Lucas says "during" the Nixon era, but PABAAH twists it to "reacting to" Nixon. The choice of words is interesting. Lucas's quote implies that, yes, there may have been some alarming things going on, but he is not making an absolute parallel. PABAAH makes it sound like Emperor Palpatine is a characterization of Nixon. And since Lucas goes on to say that Iraq and Vietnam are becoming very similar, Palpatine is now the representation of GWB. And, of course, if you disagree with GWB, then you're anti-American. Umm...I guess. Yeah, because I always say, "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of George W. Bush." Yeah...

Seriously, though, the problem is that PABAAH is confusing inspiration with allegory. You can find certain things about society or politics to be both intriguing and disturbing. Thinking about that can lead you to think of the possibilities. But notice the key word here is "think." In creating a fictional universe, even if it is inspired by real events or people, you are adding new thoughts and elements not present in those real circumstances. For instance, I don't see GWB getting a senator to raise a motion granting him emergency powers that extend his term beyond 8 years. Yes, those "emergency powers" sound strikingly similar to the PATRIOT Act, but come on. Lucas is telling a story. A fiction story. A story that has been conceived and evolving in his mind for 30+ years. Not everything is political, damnit.

It's also interesting reading through their full boycott list. But I have a question. If people critical of GWB are on there, what about actors who were in satires of the Clinton presidency? I mean, the "Patriots" of today speak as if criticism of the president is anti-American and treason, but they had no problem with Clinton bashing. So here are some more names for your list PABAAH: John Travolta, Billy Bob Thorton, Kathy Bates, Maura Tierney, Geraldo Rivera, James Earl Jones, and Allison Janney for Primary Colors. And William H. Macy, Robert De Niro, Dennis Leary, and Willie Nelson for Wag the Dog. And I'm pretty sure Dennis Miller (you know, that new Bush Right-wing nut) did plenty of satirical commentary during his stand-up routines or on SNL. Of course, we all know the answer to this. "Anti-American Hollywood" only means those who are critical of Republicans. If a Dem gets into the White House in '08, I guarantee you that you will not hear from the PABAAH for at least 4 years.


At 5:16 PM, Blogger the fiddlin' fool said...

PABAAH? That sounds a bit too much like "Poobah."

At 9:57 AM, Blogger Christina said...

Looks like the only movies these guys are allowed to watch are Charleton Heston movies. How sad that they limit themselves so much.


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